[NTDTV, Beijing time, January 15, 2022]There are so many cancer patients in China, why? Many are diet related, that is, eating too much junk food. Can’t eat this, can’t eat that? Which foods are known to cause cancer?
IARC releases list of carcinogens
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization classifies the carcinogenicity of carcinogens into 3 categories and 4 groups, and will update the list of carcinogens in November 2020.
Class 1 carcinogens: Substances that have sufficient evidence to prove carcinogenic to humans, and also have clear carcinogen characteristics and evidence of carcinogenicity in animal experiments.
Class 2A carcinogenic substances: substances that are likely to be carcinogenic to humans, there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animal experiments, but insufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to humans, only theoretical carcinogenicity.
Category 2B Substances: Possibly carcinogenic to humans, sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animal experiments, limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans, but with key carcinogen characteristics.
Category 3 Substances: Substances that cannot be determined to be carcinogenic at present, with insufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animal experiments and in humans, or with evidence of carcinogenicity in animal experiments but insufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.
Generally speaking, we should pay special attention to carcinogens of class 2A and above.
Several famous foods
According to the list of carcinogens updated by IARC in 2020, there are 121 types of carcinogens in category 1 and 89 types of carcinogens in category 2A. Alcohol, salted fish, betel nut, nitrosamines, benzopyrene and aflatoxin are closely related to our diet. , Aristolochic acid, Helicobacter pylori, etc.
1. Chinese-style salted fish (marinated products)
Type 1 carcinogenic Chinese-style salted fish has clear evidence of carcinogenicity, and the carcinogens contained are nitroso compounds. When marinating Chinese-style salted fish, use a large amount of high-concentration salt before dehydrating. In the process of dehydration, chemical reactions will occur to generate carcinogenic nitroso compounds such as nitrosodimethylamine, which will increase the risk of cancer such as nasopharyngeal cancer.
2. Moldy food
Moldy foods such as rice, wheat, and peanuts contain a highly toxic substance, aflatoxin. Class 1 carcinogen aflatoxin is 68 times more toxic than arsenic and 70 times more carcinogenic than dimethylnitrosamine. Aflatoxin is a metabolite of Aspergillus flavus. If the food is stored in a closed container without drying, or if it is improperly stored and causes mildew and deterioration, it will be contaminated by Aspergillus flavus and produce aflatoxin. When aflatoxin is ingested by the human body, it can cause great damage to the liver and increase the risk of liver cancer.
3. Hot food
When ingesting food with a temperature above 65°C, the oral mucosa and esophageal mucosa will be scalded.
Hot drinks with a temperature above 65°C are class 2A carcinogens, because the oral mucosa and esophagus mucosa of the human body are soft and fragile, and the temperature tolerance is limited. Burns, although burns can be recovered quickly, if repeated for a long time, it will cause chronic inflammation and increase the risk of esophageal cancer, oral cancer and other cancers.
The main component of alcohol is ethanol. When ethanol enters the human body, it will be converted into acetaldehyde, a type 1 carcinogen, which is further converted into acetic acid, and finally metabolized into carbon dioxide and water. If you drink a lot of alcohol or fail to metabolize acetaldehyde due to genetic defects, acetaldehyde will continue to accumulate in the body and further bind to cellular DNA, causing cell mutation and eventually cancer.
A statistic in the 2014 World Cancer Report shows that alcohol causes 3.5% of cancers. There are many cancers related to alcohol, including throat cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, esophagus cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer, etc. We advise everyone to stay away from alcohol for health.
Barbecue food is loved by many people, but it is easy to produce class 1 carcinogen benzopyrene, because the charcoal used for barbecue itself contains benzopyrene. During the burning process, the human body will inhale a lot of smoke containing benzopyrene, which The fumes of benzopyrene will also contaminate the food; secondly, there will be oil dripping when the meat is roasted, and the polymerization reaction will occur after the oil is coked, and benzopyrene will also be produced, which will adhere to the surface of the food. When benzopyrene enters the human body, it will cause damage to tissues and organs such as stomach, lung, liver, bladder, and digestive tract, and easily lead to cancers such as gastric cancer, esophageal cancer, and colon cancer.
6. Fried and baked goods
French fries, fried chicken, biscuits, bread, coffee and other fried and baked goods may contain the 2A carcinogen acrylamide. The American Cancer Society (ACS) pointed out that a certain amount of acrylamide will be produced when foods containing starch and amino acids are fried or baked at high temperatures above 120°C. Acrylamide has teratogenic and mutagenic health risks. After entering the human body, it can tightly bind to the sulfhydryl groups in hemoglobin and organ proteins, resulting in toxic effects.
7. Betel nut
Betel nut also belongs to class 1 carcinogen, because it contains carcinogenic arecoline; in addition, betel nut fiber is rough, and long-term friction with delicate oral mucosa will cause chronic damage; and betel nut uses lime in processing, and lime is very important for betel nut. The mouth is very irritating. A number of studies have confirmed that betel nut and oral cancer are closely related, often chewing betel nut is no different from chronic suicide.
We can enjoy delicious food, but we must control the amount, especially for some foods that contain carcinogens, it is better to eat less, not to eat a lot for a long time, as long as it does not exceed the safe dose, it is not a big problem. However, moldy foods containing aflatoxin, or harmful and unhelpful foods such as alcohol and betel nut, should be refused to avoid increasing the risk of cancer.
(Transfer from China/Responsible Editor: Li Xiaomei)
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